Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served in Vietnam with B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 319th FA (Airborne), 173rd Airborne Brigade (SEP) 1970-71. I was a Motor Sergeant in the rear area when the battery was stationed on a mountain top and joined them when they were relocated to a forward FSB. I was wounded in action on 2 Feb 1971 near An Khe.
Tell us how your dog is helping you continue #StillServing in your community.
My Service Dog Hershey is a rescue dog obtained by the Veteran Service Dog Organization of Howell, MI, who matches dogs with disabled vets (at no cost) and provides training for the veteran’s need(s). Our training lasted 18 months and is still on going. When Hershey and I are in the community, we demonstrate to those who doesn’t understand how a Veteran Service Dog helps a veteran out in the public. Other times, the two of us will visit with children/adults with severe physical and mental disabilities just to bring ‘pure’ joy into their lives.
Why do you do it?
I’ve been an advocate for Veterans since joining the VFW in 1976 and spent almost 50 years helping fellow veterans. When my deafness kept me from going out in public, fellow veterans referred me to the VSDO, and I got Hershey. Now I do the same for other veterans, and I also educate various business owners about Veteran Service Dogs and their Veteran handlers. Everyone we talk to are amazed to learn the difference between support animals and ‘certified’ Veteran Service Dogs.
The bottom line is this, ‘helping other Veterans’ should be every Veteran’s goal no matter what organization they belong to.